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Maulana Karenga
Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (Ronald McKinley Everett) 2003.jpg
2003 photo
Born
Ronald McKinley Everett

July 14, 1941 (1941-07-14) (age 80)
Occupation Author
Scholar
Spouse(s) Brenda Lorraine "Haiba" Karenga (divorced)
Tiamoyo Karenga (1970–)
Criminal details
Maulana Karenga
Status Paroled

Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett, July 14, 1941) , previously known as Ron Karenga, is an American professor of Africana studies, activist, and author best known as the creator of the pan-African and the African-American holiday of Kwanzaa.

Born in Parsonsburg, Maryland, to an African-American family, Karenga studied at Los Angeles City College and the University of California, Los Angeles. He was active in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, joining the Congress of Racial Equality and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Modeling the holiday after the African "first fruit" traditions, Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966. The rituals of the holiday promote African traditions, including the "seven principles of African heritage".

Karenga and Hakim Jamal co-founded the black nationalist group US Organization, which became involved in violent clashes with the Black Panther Party in 1969. In 1971, he was convicted of felony assault and false imprisonment. He denied involvement and claimed the prosecution was political in nature. Karenga was imprisoned in California Men's Colony until he received parole in 1975.

Karenga has been awarded two doctorates, one in Political Science in 1976 and one in Social Ethics in 1994. He chairs the Africana Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach and is the author of several books.

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